Is There A Surgery For Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

You are suffering from a fatty liver, if at least 5% of the hepatocytes (liver cells) contain more than normal fat deposits exhibit. This can be further subdivided as a mild fatty liver (5% to 33% liver cells with high amount of fat deposits), moderate fatty liver (over 33% to 66% of liver cells contain excess fat deposits) and severe fatty liver (over 66% cells of the liver containing fat deposits).1

Is There A Surgery For Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Is There A Surgery For Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

Chronic inflammation and obesity of the liver cells increase the risk of liver cancer in addition to increased risk of diabetes. So, early treatment of a fatty liver is essential.

It is not possible to combat the fat deposition in the liver cells by medication or surgery. The treatment of fatty liver has to be done by changing your diet and lifestyle. If you have a fatty liver, you need to do the following lifestyle changes:

  • Limit or stop alcohol intake
  • Have a healthy, balanced, vitamin-rich diet, rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Limit intake of fats and sugar
  • Have adequate exercise (walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, muscle-building exercises)
  • Can switch to high protein diet
  • Remain stress-free, relaxed
  • Take a cold shower and healthy phytoextracts (curcumin, ginger, etc.)
  • Reduce medicines that exert pressure on your liver.5

How Fatty Liver Is Formed?

The process of fatty liver development is a consequence of diet and lifestyle. In some cases, fatty liver is associated with another disease but is mostly due to high-calorie food, drinks, and lack of exercise.

The liver is the most important metabolic organ of the human body. In addition to detoxification, the organ is also responsible for the metabolism of food such as metabolism of fats, conversion of carbohydrates into fats, and amino acids and protein metabolism. The fat deposits in hepatocytes are formed in the liver primarily due to excess sugar (table sugar) and alcohol consumption.2

Development Of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver is the consequence of poor Nutrition (excess trans fats, sugar, vegetable edible oils, fast food, etc.); nutrient deficiencies; adverse effects of certain medicines; or concomitant of some diseases.
  • Obesity is a very common reason for a non-alcoholic fatty liver. Especially if the diet is low in vitamins and fiber and mostly contains carbohydrates, sugar, and trans fat, the risk of fatty liver is high.
  • Up to 30% of people in Europe have a fatty liver, in many cases undetected. If weight gain comes from an overly healthy but varied diet, the risk of fatty liver is much lower.
  • Even lean people who consume little or no alcohol can develop a fatty liver. It’s not just about the quantity, but more about the composition and quality of the food.
  • The lack of exercise is another factor for the development of a fatty liver. Inadequate exercise will break down muscles, reducing calorie demand, reducing metabolism, and lower the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates.3

Some Diseases Linked To Fatty Liver Development

A fatty liver can occur together with autoimmune diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or Diabetes Mellitus type 1. Again, it is important to stop the degeneration of the liver cells due to fat deposition and avoid major liver damage.4

Diagnosis Of Fatty Liver

Since a fatty liver causes no symptoms for a long time, it is often not discovered for years. To diagnose a fatty liver, a suspected diagnosis is first made, which is determined based on medical history (patient survey). These include questions about alcohol intake, diet, weight relative to height, or daily physical activity.

But a survey cannot give a reliable diagnosis. An initial indication of fatty liver, especially in overweight individuals, is an accumulation of fat under the chin and neck.

USG (ultrasound sonography) of the liver along with blood tests to evaluate the liver condition are confirmatory tests for fatty liver diagnosis.


The development of fatty liver can be prevented in most cases, basically with the same methods to control obesity. A healthy, balanced way of life, low alcohol consumption, taking part in muscle building and fat loss exercises can prevent fatty liver development.

If there is already a fatty liver, the prognosis can be good by implementing healthy lifestyle changes and diet. In most cases, the fatty liver is reversible and heals completely.


  1. Angulo P. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. New England Journal of Medicine. 2002;346(16):1221-1231.
  2. Farrell GC, Larter CZ. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: from steatosis to cirrhosis. Hepatology. 2006;43(S1):S99-S112.
  3. Samuel VT, Shulman GI. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease as a nexus of metabolic and hepatic diseases. Cell metabolism. 2018;27(1):22-41.
  4. Younossi ZM, Loomba R, Anstee QM, et al. Diagnostic modalities for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and associated fibrosis. Hepatology. 2018;68(1):349-360.
  5. Stefan N, Häring H-U, Cusi K. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: causes, diagnosis, cardiometabolic consequences, and treatment strategies. The lancet Diabetes & endocrinology. 2019;7(4):313-324.

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